At the core of these problems is President Trump’s decision not to divest from his vast business empire.
The Trump Organization operates hotels, buildings, golf resorts, and other businesses, and also sells the right to use the Trump name to brand properties and other businesses his companies do not own.
Ethics issues confronted nearly all of President Trump’s major cabinet nominees, leading several, including Secretary of the Army nominee Vincent Viola, Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder, prospective Secretary of the Navy nominee Philip Bilden, and Deputy Secretary of Commerce nominee Todd Ricketts to drop out before even receiving a confirmation hearing.
For example, billionaire investor Carl Icahn has been named a special advisor for overhauling the country’s regulatory framework, and has reportedly advised President Trump on relevant personnel and policies, including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and an existing regulation requiring fuel companies to use certain amounts of biofuel.
Far from draining the swamp, the first 100 days of the Trump administration have illustrated the importance of prioritizing ethics when entering public service – and the negative consequences when a president fails to do so.